They called Dr. Bobby Deaton the “Dinosaur Man” – and not because of his age.
Deaton, 78, who died Tuesday, taught at Texas Wesleyan University for 47 years and was known for his research in fossils and paleontology and his dedication to his students.
“He was a scholar and a dedicated teacher,” said Dr. Ibrahim Salih. “He never hesitated extending a helping hand to his students. My son and daughter took his course on geology and always talked about his teaching very highly. His easygoing personality and smile will be missed by all.”
Deaton, a professor of physics, died at Arlington Memorial Hospital after sustaining a stroke in mid-December, according to an e-mail sent by university President Fredrick G. Slabach.
Many students were inspired by Deaton and his desire to help them achieve their goals, said Joe Brown, dean of freshman success.
Deaton carried the academic load of someone half his age, and was always on campus for events and to help students, said Brown.
“I will always remember Dr. Deaton’s care, concern and commitment to the students,” said Brown.
Deaton wanted his students in his classes to not only knew the material, but understand how it could be used in their careers and in lives, said Dr. Jane Moore, professor of mathematics.
“He would come in to talk and ask: How can I do physics with my students and not have math?” Moore said. “Dr. Deaton felt very strongly about maintaining high academic standards,” Moore said.
There will be a viewing for Deaton on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 West Pioneer Parkway in Arlington. The funeral service will also be at Wade’s at 10 a.m. on Saturday. A reception, hosted by Bobby Deaton II, will be held immediately following the service in Bragan Hall at Polytechnic United Methodist Church. Staff, students and faculty are invited to attend.